Friday, November 30, 2007

* Yawn *

I just got back home from Matt & Kendra's - yikes we stayed up too late! Kendra & I went to Nolan's school Christmas Program, then grabbed a quick bite to eat & chilled out at her house for quite a while. I gave her the pics from Nolan's program to copy onto her computer first, so as soon as I get back together with her I'll be able to put a few up here... til then, some sweet sleepy pictures of my Baby-Boo :-)

This is when Livia was tiny enough to fit in her "baby bag" from my Aunt Tanya - how sweet it this?! Oh, the days where she was so small... Well, she may be too big to fit into that little carrier, but now she has a new-found love in another baby carrier. I bought one of those baby front-pack carriers, and she's always good as gold when she's in it. Hmmm...guess I need to get some pictures of her in that!

Livia's Auntie KeeKee took this picture of Livie when she was only a couple of months old. She fell asleep in my arms & Kendra grabbed my camera - a perfectly sweet shot!

One of the very few times Livia was sleeping in my Dad's arms - she's usually walkie-walking with him!

Livia likes the big-kid-beds :-) We were out at my parents' and I think we actually both took a nap on their bed. Couldn't resist taking this adorable pic.

And finally, ever been so tired that you could fall asleep anywhere? Livia was so sleepy that she conked out on my lap! Perry got this one for me :-)

Well, that's all I have for tonight...nothing really 'new' to me, per se. But maybe not everyone who sees this has seen them - love to all & God Bless!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Aspiring Photographer of 3 Years

No, I'm not talking about someone who has been working at becoming a photographer for the last 3 years - I'm talking about Maggie, my 3-year-old neice!

This is Maggie:
She's such a sweet, intelligent little girl - and she already has quite a gift! Maggie & her brother, Nolan, absolutely love taking pictures! Anytime I have my camera with me, they take turns snapping away. I've ended up with some fun, funny, and awesome you can see!

THIS is the absolutely wonderful picture she took of Livia.

I couldn't believe it! I mean, it was cropped almost perfectly, the color is beautiful. And look at the expression on Livia's face - it's priceless! My Mom sent me an e-mail not too long ago with all these sweet pictures of little baby faces. I showed this pic to her & she said that it could have been in that e-mail. (Anyone who wants that e-mail, just let me know - I still have it & I'll be glad to forward it to you.)

Anyway, really the only thing I could think to do to the picture was this:

I love making pictures into back & white with just a little bit of color on it. Livia's eyes are such an intense blue, I thought this looked just great as well. What do you all think? Like one better than the other? At either rate, I just can't get over the fact that a little girl who's only 3 took this picture!

Tomorrow night is Nolan's Christmas Program - I can't wait to go see those guys! Maybe I should let Maggie take pictures for me :-)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Yummy Toes!

My sweet little Baby-Boo has found a new favorite treat... Her feet! She started grabbing for them last week, and within the last few days she's gotten REALLY good at getting them into her mouth! I just wonder what she's thinking...

"Hey Mom! Guess what I'm gonna do"

Look at that cute little tongue - when it curls like that, I know she's got something up her sleeve!

"Those things you call 'cute little feet' look more like a new favorite toy to me! Hmmm...wonder what they taste like"

I could just see them getting ready to go into her mouth - how cool to catch it on film! Oh, and don't worry - Livia's daddy was standing just out of the camera's view to spring into action if she started to roll.

"Mmm! Even more yummy than I thought they would be! Why didn't you tell me about these things before, Mom?"

Haha! Since almost everything goes into her mouth right now, I figured it would only be a matter of time before her feet found their way there. It's so cute! I almost wish it weren't such chilly weather so she could play with her feet more.

Livia is also getting closer & closer to crawling. She rocks back & forth when she's on her hands & knees. She really seems to enjoy standing, "walkie-walkin", and jumping a lot more though.

Livie absolutely LOVES her jumper - this is her usual expression when she plays in it:

Jumpie, jumpie, jumpie, jump! There are days where she wants to jump for hours. I don't know where she gets all that energy ;-)

Even Baby-Boo gets tired of it (or maybe just plain tired) once in a while, though - literally! Actually, this pic was taken out at Livia's grandparents - my Mom & Dad - and this has been the only time she actually fell asleep in the jumper.

Love to all - Goodnight & God Bless!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Thanksgiving Day FUN!

So, Little Livia got to experience her very 1st Thanksgiving!! It was quite a day - busily getting ready, going here & there, and eating everywhere in between! Livia tried sweet potatoes (not the baby food kind) for the 1st time. With marshmellows on top, we wondered if she'd still like the baby food version! Unfortunately, I only got a couple of pictures of Livia while we were with my side of the family; at least I got tons over at Perry's parents!
There were 16 people in that house at one time - wow! 6 were actually in all the way from Mississippi. Perry's Uncle Danny & Aunt Beverly - he calls her Aunt bay :-) Also, Perry's cousin Brian & his whole family! Brian's wife, Holly, and their 2 kids - Braxton & Taylor. Brian is Danny & Beverly's son. It was So awesome that they were all there! Matt & Kendra, Nolan, Maggie, & Garrett were all there too, and I couldn't help but notice that almost everyone had a "friend" to hang out with. Nolan & Braxton totally hit it off, Taylor & Maggie acted like best friends, and even Garrett & Livia had some cute moments where they just gazed each other. Kendra & I wondered what they were thinking about...any ideas? :-)
Ok, enough jibber-jabbering - how bout some pics? :-)

One of the only pics of Livie at my Aunt Dana's - I'll get more next time!

Livia & her Great Aunt 'Bay'

Matt & Garrett playing "BALL!"

Braxton, Nolan, Taylor, Maggie, & Garrett all having tons of fun in the play room

Garrett, Aunt Bay, and Taylor (Oh, yeah, Beverly is also Taylor's grandma!)

A really cute pic of Taylor just chillin'

Me feeding Livia her little Thanksgiving Feast

Perry, Livie, & Maggie - Livia likes Maggie's baby doll! Someday soon little girl :-)

Garrett, Taylor, Maggie, Livia, & Perry

Livia & her Auntie KeeKee - how cute!

Friday, November 23, 2007

The Real Story of Thanksgiving

It seems that people nowadays don't really think about why we celebrate Thanksgiving. Sure, it's a day off work; you think about getting to spend time with your family & friends; you think about turkeys & getting stuffed til your pants pop; you may even think about all the work it may entail. Some of you may even think about what you were taught in school, about how the Pilgrims held a feast to thank the Indians for teaching them how to fish & live off the land.
Hang on just a sec...that can't be right. Is that what this day is really about?
Have we forgotten what Thanksgiving is really about? Or even worse, have we not yet even been taught the true story behind Thanksgiving? For those interested in Thanksgiving's origins, I would like for you to take a look at how Thanksgiving became a national holiday:

For those of you who don't know or like Rush Limbaugh, tough. It's not about him; it's what Limbaugh has the courage to put out there. Honestly, I don't really know the guy; I've heard only this one story. But anyone who provides an honest, Christian view has my attention & respect. If you don't feel like reading about what George Washington proclaimed in 1789, that's fine. But just know that this holiday was intended to be a day to thank God for all He's done for us - Mr. Washington only mentions God about a dozen times in his proclamation!
Now, I give you THE real story of Thanksgiving (also copied from Rush's website) :

"On August 1, 1620, the Mayflower set sail. It carried a total of 102 passengers, including forty Pilgrims led by William Bradford. On the journey, Bradford set up an agreement, a contract, that established just and equal laws for all members of the new community, irrespective of their religious beliefs. Where did the revolutionary ideas expressed in the Mayflower Compact come from? From the Bible," and this is what's not taught. This is what's left out. "The Pilgrims were a people completely steeped in the lessons of the Old and New Testaments. They looked to the ancient Israelites for their example. And, because of the biblical precedents set forth in Scripture, they never doubted that their experiment would work. But this was no pleasure cruise, friends. The journey to the New World was a long and arduous one. And when the Pilgrims landed in New England in November, they found, according to Bradford's detailed journal, a cold, barren, desolate wilderness. There were no friends to greet them, he wrote. There were no houses to shelter them. There were no inns where they could refresh themselves. And the sacrifice they had made for freedom was just beginning. During the first winter, half the Pilgrims -- including Bradford's own wife -- died of either starvation, sickness, or exposure.
"When spring finally came, Indians taught the settlers how to plant corn, fish for cod and skin beavers for coats. Life improved for the Pilgrims, but they did not yet prosper! This is important to understand because this is where modern American history lessons often end. Thanksgiving is actually explained in some textbooks as a holiday for which the Pilgrims gave thanks to the Indians for saving their lives, rather than as a devout expression of gratitude grounded in the tradition of both the Old and New Testaments. Here is the part that has been omitted: The original contract the Pilgrims had entered into with their merchant-sponsors in London called for everything they produced to go into a common store, and each member of the community was entitled to one common share. All of the land they cleared and the houses they built belong to the community as well." They were collectivists! Now, "Bradford, who had become the new governor of the colony, recognized that this form of collectivism was as costly and destructive to the Pilgrims as that first harsh winter, which had taken so many lives.
"He decided to take bold action. Bradford assigned a plot of land to each family to work and manage, thus turning loose the power of the marketplace. ... Long before Karl Marx was even born, the Pilgrims had discovered and experimented with what could only be described as socialism. And what happened? It didn't work! Surprise, surprise, huh? What Bradford and his community found was that the most creative and industrious people had no incentive to work any harder than anyone else, unless they could utilize the power of personal motivation! But while most of the rest of the world has been experimenting with socialism for well over a hundred years -- trying to refine it, perfect it, and re-invent it -- the Pilgrims decided early on to scrap it permanently. What Bradford wrote about this social experiment should be in every schoolchild's history lesson," every kid gets. "If it were, we might prevent much needless suffering in the future." Here's what he wrote: "'The experience that we had in this common course and condition, tried sundry years...that by taking away property, and bringing community into a common wealth, would make them happy and flourishing -- as if they were wiser than God,' Bradford wrote.
"'For this community [so far as it was] was found to breed much confusion and discontent, and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort. For young men that were most able and fit for labor and service did repine that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men's wives and children without any recompense...that was thought injustice.'" That was thought injustice. "Do you hear what he was saying, ladies and gentlemen? The Pilgrims found that people could not be expected to do their best work without incentive. So what did Bradford's community try next? They unharnessed the power of good old free enterprise by invoking the undergirding capitalistic principle of private property. Every family was assigned its own plot of land to work and permitted to market its own crops and products. And what was the result?" 'This had very good success,' wrote Bradford, "for it made all hands industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been." Bradford doesn't sound like much of a Clintonite, does he? Is it possible that supply-side economics could have existed before the 1980s? ... In no time, the Pilgrims found they had more food than they could eat themselves. ... So they set up trading posts and exchanged goods with the Indians.
"The profits allowed them to pay off their debts to the merchants in London. And the success and prosperity of the Plymouth settlement attracted more Europeans and began what came to be known as the 'Great Puritan Migration.'"

This brings me back to George Washington's proclamation - Thanking God for Blessing our Nation. Please join me as I humbly thank Him as & every day for all He has blessed me with. Take care & God Bless everyone!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Another looooong day!

It's been another long & hectic day...between doing laundry, editing & uploading pictures onto PCSP's website, and taking care of baby-boo, I'm pooped! I'm going to have to run to the store tomorrow morning. I wanted to tonight, but my sweet little Livia had other ideas. She got a GREAT nap in earlier today - so great that I wondered if I'd be paying for it later. Oh, yeah...big-time! She STILL isn't asleep! I think she's finally winding down though. Not really crying as much but still awake. Oh, sweet little baby, sleep! Sleep!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A Quarter Century on this Earth

Normally I would say that it's hard to believe that I am now 25... On days like today though, I feel even older! This has definately been a very long, interesting day. I awoke this morning to the sounds of my little daughter begining to cry - she doesn't usually cry at first, but this morning she was wheezing pretty badly. (She's had a little cold over the last several days) Being the new mother & worry-wart that I am, I immediately picked her up out of her crib & called her Dr's office. They could actually hear her over the phone, and they asked if I could be there at 9:15 (which was only a half-hour from the time I called). And because I just got a flat tire Sunday, my hubby was going to have to take me & Livia there...long story. To make it short, it just took some planning & we were on the way. Livia was seen pretty quickly & they looked her over, took her temp, listened to her chest; by then she had already cleared up quite a bit. They gave her a breathing treatment & said that if she didn't get better before eaerly next week, or if she got worse, then to come back in.
It was totally worth the $20 co-pay just to make sure nothing was seriously wrong with her. Plus everyone at her Dr's office LOVES her! She's known as the Pumpkin can see why! I took a ton of her in her little Halloween costume and this is one of the best pics.

Anyway, after we left the office I had my little baby front-pack carrier with me, so I put Livia in it & walked over to the BMV - literally only a block away and the weather was wonderful to be outside. I went to the BMV to renew my license...unfortunately they didn't have my correct social security info. I was told to go to the SS office to get it straightened out. Ok...
Perry was finally able to come back & get me so we could go back home & get ready to head out again. I hurried & fed Livia, then set out on our next set of adventures. 1st stop, the SS office. Amazingly, it didn't take long and I got everything ok'd with no trouble at all. Next, it was on to the north side to get my tire replaced. My dad had called around and found a used tire that would work great for $30 - I'm thinking "Great!" But not really...
I dropped by the tire place & was told there was a bit of a wait & that I should just come back in a couple of hours. So I grabbed a quick bite to eat and then just sat in a parking lot while Livia napped. I tried to get a little one in myself, but the phone didn't want to stay quiet at all. So after about an hour & a half, I went ahead back to the tire place to see if they were ready for me yet. What good luck - they were! I sat waiting, thinking how lucky I was...until the gal came back out and said that the rest of my tires needed to be replaced as well...and something else needed replaced & alligned. The worst was when she said that she "couldn't let me leave with my car in the condition it's in." I was trying not to tear up while I called hubby, and he came to my rescue! What ticked him off was that they were trying to pressure me & convince me that I needed things I didn't, and that I had to have them done then & there. Gals, don't let this happen to you like it almost did me!
So we're finally headed back home. Mind you, I hadn't been there more than a half-hour since 9 something that morning & it was now after 4! I walked inside...and there was a huge box in the kitchen as a b-day present from hubby - it was a table! I'd been wanting one for SO long! It's bar height w/4chairs, a beautiful dark brown color - I love it :-) Perry's already got a good start on putting it all together.
We were supposed to meet my parents & sis at Nick's Pizza & Wings at 5:30... unfortunately After not being home more than and hour & a half all day, I ran late (not surprising if you know me!) We got there about 5:45 and I had an extra surprise - Laura Belle brought a "date". Our friend Jonathan who was over in Iraq for more than a year! He's been back for a couple of months, but I hadn't gotten to see him yet. It was wonderful to see him in person & tell him that I'm glad he's back here safe & sound. I also got some wonderful presents from my sis & Mom and Dad - lots of shirts and my very 1st Vera Bradley purse! How exciting!
We had already ordered, but after an hour our pizzas STILL hadn't arrived! I could just see hubby's temperature rising by the minute! We did eventually get everything we ordered, but it's proabbly a very good thing that they didn't charge us for any of the meal. Mom & Dad still left a very generous tip.

Ok, I can see that this is kinda turning into a journal-ish type thing...I think I might need some help on the blogging concept! I'd welcome any advice!

My 1st blog...!

Ok, so after reading my Aunt Tanya's blog postings for the last several months I realize this is something I not only should do, but I really want to do as well! Seriously, how hard is it to write just a few sentences each day about my life? There are some days that go by, and I look back on and actually wonder if they happened or not. I can't remember anything significant about them... and quite frankly, it makes me feel like a crazy person when my brain goes blank like that!
I offer to anyone who might read this sure-to-be-time-killer blog a bit of information about me. I'm a wife, mother, and an aspiring photographer (among other things, of coarse) I LOVE my husband Perry & my sweet little daughter Livia. My life didn't truly begin until I was blessed with them! I'm working with a lifelong family friend, Phil, on trying to get a photography business up and running: Point Click & Shoot Photography. Right now it's a lot of hard work, but I still love it! I get a kick out of taking & editing pictures, and I think it's absolutely amazing that my favorite hobby might someday bring home the bacon! For now though, my hubby is a very successful salesman in the painting business. And he's right by my side in every way - I'm a very lucky woman.
I have a lot to learn about this whole "blogging", WOW anyone in the world who wants to could take a peek at my life! Who knows what I'll end up posting on here! Probably quite a bit about my little Livie and the hubby - oh, and of coarse photography! I think this will be a wonderful tool. I (and anyone for that matter!) can look back on a date to see what happened that day. For instance: if I would have started this blog last Friday I would have said... "Livia held her arms up to me for the 1st time! I mean she REALLY put both of those little arms up in the air and REACHED for me!!" Oh, I was so excited! :-) Just when I don't think I could possibly love that sweet little girl any more, she does something to make me love her even more! Isn't it wonderful how a mother's love only grows with time?
Oh, Mom, if I had only known before this year...! Just think, only a couple of years ago, I wasn't sure if I even wanted kids. Was I crazy?! I know not everyone in this world is blessed with children, but I sure do thank God every day that I have a little girl. Even if she ends up being my only one, I feel as if my life is complete because of her. Mom, I'm sorry I didn't know all this before now - how wonderful it is to be a mom, how every day my love for her grows, how I'm so incredibly happy and my life is so complete. Thank you for your patience over the years. I strive to be the kind of mother you were and still are to me - I love you.
I'll finish off this 1st posting with the most imporant values to me: Live Love Life, Faith Family Friends Forever. And something my sister-by-choice once told me: Here's to Love, Laughter, and Happily Ever After.
Take care & God Bless All